Trade Deadline '09 and the Fantasy Forecast

Kyle KloetzlyContributor IMarch 6, 2009

In the NHL, it’s Christmas day.

In fantasy, it’s a chance to turnaround your roster for the remaining weeks of the season as we scramble to bring our teams to postseason glory.

With the trade deadline now passed, here are four players who found themselves on the move and, as a result, will help out your teams in these crucial final weeks.

Antoine Vermette—(Ottawa to Columbus)

This young guy has been up and down on the Ottawa depth chart all year as the Senators have been working to put together their most effective lines. Now he’ll be thrown right into the mix on a young Columbus team that is fighting for their first playoff berth.

Ever since the Blue Jackets lost rookie sensation Derick Brassard back in December, they’ve been struggling to find a first line centerpiece to complement Rick Nash and Kristian Huselius. Manny Malhotra and RJ Umberger have been decent, but Vermette will be exactly what they need.

Nash and Huselius both have huge potential, but unfortunately aren't as consistent as they should be.

The addition of Vermette will give Columbus and your fantasy roster a boost. If you are looking for some depth at center for the remaining fantasy weeks, have a look at Vermette; chances are he is available. He should be able to post solid numbers skating as a top forward in playoff-bound Columbus.

Bill Guerin—(New York Islanders to Pittsburgh)

Leadership. That’s one word that comes to mind when you think of this veteran.

Guerin has been in the NHL for nearly 20 years, and he has played for eight different teams during that time. He is the type of player who can produce, no matter what environment he’s put into, and that certainly won’t change now that he’s in a Penguins sweater.

Pittsburgh has fallen short of their high expectations this season due to injuries, underperformance, and coaching problems. They have put their serious faces on for the past few weeks though, and they appear to have things turned around as they attempt to make yet another run at the cup.

The addition of Chris Kunitz has paid off already, and they are winning games even with Crosby sidelined.

Bill Guerin will bring experience, leadership, and all-round skill to this team. He’s put up 36 points so far this season with the last place Islanders. Given that he’ll now be playing in a much more talented team, he will have no problem putting up another 15-20 in these final weeks.

Give him a chance to him help your squad.

Nik Antropov—(Toronto to the New York Rangers)

From a fantasy point of view, what can you say about Nik Antropov, besides; he’s a hassle to own.

One day he’s lighting up the scoreboard like the first round draft pick he was, and the next he’s your weak link. It’s been tough to have this guy on your roster, until now.

The Rangers have an enormously talented team, they just struggle to find chemistry and keep things consistent. They came flying out of the gate early in the season and looked like an early Eastern Conference favorite.

With John Tortorella now behind the wheel, I think the Rangers are lined up for a very strong playoff run.

They signed Sean Avery from the waivers and also picked up Derek Morris in a trade with Phoenix. Antropov won’t be immediately put into the top 6 forwards mix, but he could absolutely play his way into one of those spots.

If he’s given time on the power play, he could put up much more consistent numbers than he did in Toronto.

He may be available in your league, and if he is, pick him up. I think you may be pleasantly surprised.

Olli Jokinen—(Phoenix to Calgary)

You didn’t think I was going to write a trade deadline article and leave out the biggest deal of the day, did you?

Well I haven’t, and I saved the best for last. He’s not going to be available in your league, unless your league is very shallow, so this is for current Olli owners, who have probably been a little frustrated with him thus far.

Olli’s a big name player, there’s no doubt about that. His 42 points on the year with a weak Coyotes squad is decent. Unfortunately, that is far from where he should be. The environment in Phoenix just never let him thrive like we know he can, and those days are over…

He’s going to be put right into Calgary’s top line alongside Cammalleri and Iginla, who have both been absolutely explosive. Well boom goes the dynamite, because adding Jokinen to that mix spells bad news for the opponents.

Calgary now has to be considered as one of the best in the west and will be able to challenge the likes of San Jose and Detroit come playoff time.

He could easily put up 25 points the rest of the way, and he is sure to be one of your top performers.

So congrats if you own Olli, you’re about to get a boost that will put you over the hump. Use him without question.

Here are a few other trade deadline movers to keep your eye on if you need a little depth…

Mark Recchi

Martin Gerber

Derek Morris

Erik Cole


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